Contributor's Corner

New ideas and thoughts from some of our very favorite health and wellness experts.

Experience Life Magazine

Goitrogens: Thyroid Busters or Thyroid Boosters?

This is an update of the original version of this post published on the Healthful Elements blog in July 2013, and was written by Jill Grunewald, HNC, and Mary Tomback, HNC. 

In November of 2012, I wrote an article on how to “Repair Your Thyroid“ for Experience Life. In that piece, I wrote that goitrogenic foods — including cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, and leafy greens such as collards and kale — were detrimental to thyroid function, unless cooked. Many practitioners, including some doctors, still believe this; however, my co-coach and fellow health writer, Mary Tomback, HNC, and I have stayed on top of the science and changed our stance.

Whereas we used to adhere to the “goitrogens as thyroid busters” philosophy and ask our hypothyroid clients to steer clear or greatly reduce their consumption of these foods, the good news is that the vast majority of them need not worry that these nutritional powerhouses will thwart their thyroid.

Allow me to explain.

Clearing Up the Confusion

Some animal research has suggested that consuming goitrogenic foods may suppress thyroid function by slowing the thyroid’s absorption of iodine. This, in turn, could cause a goiter — which is an enlargement of the thyroid — or so it’s been claimed. We’ve also been told that goitrogenic foods may inhibit the production of thyroid hormone.

Because of this research, many people with low thyroid function have been inclined to avoid the foods listed above, but many leaders in the functional-medicine community say that might be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. These goitrogenic foods, they say, contain too many beneficial nutrients and are far too supportive of the immune system to eliminate them from our diets. (The exception is soy, which we discuss below.)

“No human study has demonstrated a deficiency in thyroid function from consuming cruciferous vegetables,” says Joel Fuhrman, MD. “The scientific consensus [, however,] is that cruciferous vegetables could only be detrimental to thyroid function in cases of iodine deficiency or insufficient iodine intake.”

Dr. Alan Christianson, a naturopath who specializes in thyroid disorders, agrees. He argues that if an individual’s hypothyroidism is not caused by iodine deficiency — which, as I discussed in my earlier EL article, is the case for a reported 97 percent of hypothyroid sufferers — there’s no need to worry about the potential for slower iodine absorption.

Furthermore, if there is a potential risk to thyroid function by consuming cruciferous vegetables containing goitrogenic compounds, it may be outweighed by the benefits these vegetables provide. Many goitrogenic foods, for example,  help the body produce glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that’s one of the pillars of fighting Hashimoto’s, which is autoimmune hypothyroidism. Cruciferous veggies also have a host of other general benefits, from detoxifying our bodies to helping to protect against many types of cancer (including thyroid cancer).

Putting It Into Practice

So, where does all of this information leave us? Dr. Datis Kharrazian, sums it up: “Any practitioner giving people lists of these foods and telling them not to eat them is outdated.”

So, clearly, these foods can and should have their places on our plates. If, however, you are one of the 3 percent of folks who have non-autoimmune hypothyroidism — so this is as a result of iodine deficiency (and not Hashimoto’s, which as stated earlier, is autoimmune hypothyroidism) — here are a few things to keep in mind.

First, cooking inactivates most goitrogenic compounds. Any potential harm to your thyroid exists only when the foods are eaten raw. So roast, steam, sauté, or blanch these foods, and then enjoy to your heart’s desire. Moderately goitrogenic foods such as peaches, radishes, watercress, and strawberries — foods few of us are likely to cook — aren’t deal-breakers.

If you love to add fresh greens to your morning smoothies, try blanching the greens and then freezing them in single-serving portions, like in an ice cube tray. They’ll be as easy to add to the blender as your frozen fruit.

Second, for those foods that are best eaten raw (or if you have a hankerin’ for crunchy, raw broccoli or homemade coleslaw), as with most things in life, moderation is key. As Dr. Fuhrman continues, “A person would have to consume an insane amount of raw cruciferous to have a negative effect on thyroid function.”

Again, those with Hashimoto’s — the vast majority of folks with hypothyroidism — can eat goitrogenic foods raw or cooked.

And, remember that with soy-based foods, being goitrogenic is not the only health concern. Soy can have an estrogenic effect, and there is a relationship between the thyroid and estrogen levels — many of us with thyroid issues find that we’re prone to estrogen dominance. Our advice is to choose fermented soy foods, such as tempeh over tofu, and eat only on occasion.

As people have continued to ask for clarification on this oh-so-confusing topic, Mary and I have repeatedly (and repeatedly) shared our original blog post that inspired this article. I, too, largely eschewed these vegetables for some time (because of my Hashimoto’s) and am thrilled to have them be a frequent part of my meals again. I put kale in just about everything I can (smoothies, meatloaf, scrambles, etc.), frequently have collards roll-up for lunch (with turkey, hummus, cucumber, and gomasio), and roast Brussels sprouts (my favorite vegetable!), cauliflower, and broccoli regularly. And, six years post-diagnosis, my Hashimoto’s is still in remission.

The “relief,” “freedom,” and “big exhale” that we’ve been able to provide for so many people is truly liberating — for them and us. So as you head off to the market, for goodness sake, don’t fear the crucifers. Or the leafy greens. Your thyroid won’t mind and the rest of your body will thank you in countless ways.

Experience Life Magazine

3 Steps to Recalibrating Your Relationship with Food

Let’s have a heart to heart for a minute. Do you loooove every meal that you eat? I mean really love it. Like, enjoy the heck out of every bite, get giddy when you’re about to eat it, then feel totally satisfied afterward? Yeah, that kind of loooove.

Nine times out of 10 when I ask this question, the answer I get is “hell no.”

It’s funny how much attention we give to food when we’re not eating, only to ignore it — or eat foods we don’t even enjoy — when it’s actually time to sit down and have a meal.

No wait, that’s not even true because most times we eat while multitasking and don’t take the time to even sit down while we eat.

I love food. I mean it: I really love food. I love sweets, I love savory food, I love smelling food, and I love enjoying how a great meal looks before I get to eat it.

That being said, I’m not perfect either, and even though I teach these things on a daily basis, I can get wrapped up in the go-go-go lifestyle and forget to totally tune into every meal too.

But there’s one thing that I won’t do, and that is eat something that I don’t want to eat. It’s not worth it.

If you eat the healthiest food in the world and dislike it, your body registers that icky emotion as stress. When you’re stressed, your nervous system goes into fight-or-flight mode, shutting down all unnecessary-to-survival bodily functions (digestion and metabolism being at the top of list); your body can’t break that healthy food down properly.

This may be one reason why people don’t see results when they are sticking to their diets, and why certain foods bother your stomach and other times they don’t.

So what do you do, eat burgers and fries all day? Noooo. You recalibrate.

3 Steps to Recalibration

1) What Are You Consuming?

Whenever I start working with a new client, I have them keep a food journal, including everything they eat for two week days and one weekend day. I don’t recommend doing this for a long period of time because it can lead to obsessive behaviors, but for a short period, it can be helpful for getting a clear picture of where you are at to start.

So what are you eating? Ideally, you want the majority of your consumption to be from whole-food sources. I live by the 80/20 rule when it comes to food, meaning 80 percent whole foods (in their natural state, preservative-free, minimally processed) and 20 percent non-whole foods (packaged, bottled, etc.).

In addition to food, what are you drinking and chewing? I have so many clients who complain of digestive issues in the beginning of our work together. Come to find out, many are chewing sugar-free gum or drinking diet soda all day long.

The fake sugars in these things products wreck havoc on digestion. Take it from someone who knows! I used to have a pack-a-day Orbit habit. By the end of the day my stomach would be so bloated I looked like I was 4 months pregnant.

Mar08_Nut1

For more information on how packaged and enriched foods impact your health, read “The Whole Thing.”

2) Redefine What You Want For the Long-term

Yeah, you want the number on the scale and, of course, to fit into those skinny jeans, but what is driving you to achieve your dream body even more than that?

Is it to be able to walk (or run … gasp!) on the beach in your bikini feeling sexy and confident about the way you look?

Is it to be healthy, strong, clear-minded, and happy so that you can squeeze every last drop out of the time you have on this planet with your family and friends?

Is it to have a healthy relationship with all food, freeing up the time you obsess over what to eat and when, so that you can focus on your creative projects, relationships, and daily life?

At the foundation of each of these examples: Joy. Fun. Living life to the fullest. That’s what we all want and we believe our dream body will grant us.

The more that you can start guiding your choices by this foundation principle of joy — infusing it into each and every day right now, along the way — the faster you’re setting yourself up for long-term dream-body success. Because you’re no longer chasing: You’re living for the now, eager for more. Which is what life is all about anyway.

3) Be Open to a Change of Perspective

People ask me all the time, “So, how does this work? You really eat whatever you want, all the time.”

Yeah, I do. Now, their perspective of “whatever I want” and my perspective of “whatever I want” might be totally different.

Yeah, I eat burgers and fries. Sometimes. But I honestly love the way I feel when I eat mostly fresh, creative salads, veggies, and proteins. Dessert is a staple for me, so I choose healthy options that leave me feeling like I did something good for my body in addition to satisfying my sweet tooth.

Guilt is no longer a part of my personal vocabulary. I still talk about it when working with clients, but I rarely feel it myself, and if I do, I know how to check myself before I wreck myself.

And I’m not the only one. You can do this too. It’s not a fluke. It’s not something that applies to everyone else except you. You can do this, I know you can. And if you need some help, I’d be honored to stand by your side and guide you every step of the way.

Last week I debuted my yearlong group-coaching program, the ROCK Your Dream Body Immersion, where I take a small, exclusive, connected group of women by the hand and teach them all that I have learned about how to ROCK your dream body and in turn, your dream life.

I’d be honored to have you join me on this adventure.

Learn more about and apply for the ROCK Your Dream Body Immersion here.

Sheila Viers is an Emotional Eating Expert, Holistic Life Coach and co-founder of Live Well 360.

Experience Life Magazine

Reframe Your Mindset: It’s Not As Bad As You Think

“I feel fat everyday.”

I hear this a lot when I first start working with clients. Truthfully, this is where a lot of women hang out, starting their days by opening up their closets only to stare at clothes that make them feel less than satisfied with themselves — because every pair of pants or blouse is uncomfortable to wear and reminds them that they are not where they want to be:

I want to confident in my body and my clothes. I want to feel at peace and alive. But I can’t seem to make it more than one day on my eating plan. I know WHAT I need to do, I just seem to refuse to do it. And I don’t know why. More than anything, I want to be motivated to take care of myself, to be happy to choose healthy foods, and for it to be easy to say no to a fourth (and third and second) helping.

On the surface it seems so simple, right? Eat these foods, do these workouts, and bingo, you get the body you see in the magazines and The Biggest Loser “after” show. Everybody else seems to be able to do it, so why can’t you?

When you hit this wall of resistance around making the healthy choices that are going to take you in the direction of what you crave for your body and your life, it can feel hopeless, overwhelming, and lonely.

I know because I have been there. I used to feel this exact same way.

I’ve worn jeans that are two sizes too small because I didn’t want to buy the bigger size, even though they cut into my legs and it was painful to sit. At the end of every day, I couldn’t WAIT to get out of my jeans and into my sweatpants so I could breathe!

I remember crying on the phone to my college boyfriend because I just couldn’t figure out why I was self-sabotaging every diet I went on. (Side note, now THAT’S a fun conversation for a 20-year-old guy). As you might guess, he was clueless on what to say to “fix it” on that topic!

So why is it so difficult to get on track with eating healthy and get motivated to work out? Furthermore, why is it so difficult to stay on track once you get going?

The truth is, there are two reasons.

Number one: Temptation is everywhere, and it’s easy to get stuck in the mindset that eating healthy and working out sucks because it’s hard and uncomfortable.

Turn on the TV and 90 percent of the food-related commercials are for pepperoni pizza with cheese so gooey it stretches across the screen and charbroiled burgers that look so amazing you can practically smell them.

Of course you are going to crave this stuff: We are programmed to!

Number two: You’re disconnected from YOU. You have a hardline to what your boss, your spouse, your kids, your family, the media say — what evvvverybody else is telling you that you should be doing. But you rarely check in and/or listen to the wisdom that comes from within.

When you turn off the TV, close the magazine, turn down the volume on everybody else’s opinions, and start spending more time focused on taking care of yourself and your needs, those cravings begin to wane.

When you stop finishing all of your self-care wish-list sentences with “but I don’t have time because [EXCUSE GOES HERE],” then you open yourself up to allowing the healthier habits, ideas, and inspiration in.

Eating healthy and working out doesn’t have to be a chore. It’s a chore because that’s how you’ve viewed it up until now.

Combine that with the stress you are under and the fact that food is an easy thing to reach for when you want fast comfort, and it’s no wonder that you have a hard time sticking to any type of healthy plan.

So here is one simple thing you can start doing right now to get out of your rut and get pointed in the direction of achieving the goals you are after:

Mar12_BI-400x225-2
For more on how changing your mindset can improve success rate, read “Mindset

Reframe

Take 5 deep breaths, and then reframe. Remind yourself that things are not as bad as they seem. Remind yourself that you are actually pretty healthy. You have a lot of positive things going for you in your life. Make a list of those things.

Reframe your relationship with healthy food. You don’t have to eat spinach salads with bland dressing or grilled chicken and steamed broccoli in order to be healthy. Choose meal options that are nourishing and tasty, too.

I am a big fan of ranch dressing, so my go to favorite dressing is Bolthouse Farms Ranch. No, not every ingredient in it is a whole food, and yeah, it comes in a bottle. But I love it and I really look forward to eating salads with my Bolthouse Ranch.

Reframe your relationship with exercise. Let it be easy. The true benefit of exercise is that it gets you breathing. Your cells need oxygen and when you’re sitting at the office all day, you’re probably breathing pretty shallowly. So rather than forcing yourself to do exercise that you hate, why not just get up and move in ways that make you feel good in your body? Focus on breathing deeply as you do it.

Try a new workout class. Go for a girl-talk-walk with a good friend to catch up, rather than chatting over drinks or dinner (hit the gym and talk on the treadmill if it’s too cold to do this outside).

Make your healthy lifestyle fit you. Don’t think you have to change everything overnight. Take one baby step today and then another tomorrow until one day you wake up and instead of your first thought being, “I feel fat,” it’s instead, “I feel pretty darn good.”

Awareness is the first step. You see your unhealthy habits clear as day. Yeah, you may be struggling with what to do about it, but so what? You’re aware. Give yourself a big hug because you ARE on the right track.

Lots of people go their whole lives never even questioning what they are doing or why. You are tuning in to both, and you’re ready.

We don’t make the decision to change until it’s more uncomfortable to continue doing what we’re doing than it is to do something different. You’re uncomfortable. That’s a good thing. Use that momentum to your benefit.

If this resonates with you and you want more, check out my free video series, The Secret to ROCKIN’ Your Dream Body For Life, where I take you by the hand and show you my process for going from “diet living” to real living while getting the body of your dreams.

Sheila Viers is an Emotional Eating Expert, Holistic Life Coach and co-founder of Live Well 360.

Experience Life Magazine

Skinless Project Vlog: Gratitude

The Skinless Project founder Maaria Mozaffar shares her thoughts on the importance of practicing gratitude.

Maaria Mozaffar, Esq. is the founder of The Skinless Project, a company created to help women reach their highest potential personally and professionally.

Experience Life Magazine

Hypothyroidism & Hashimoto’s: Secondary Conditions

tired3

Physical and mental fatigue, depression, poor exercise recovery and wound healing, dry skin, loss of hair, constipation, weight gain and prone to infections; all symptoms of hypothyroidism.  The thyroid gland is the primary gland controlling metabolic rate within the body; cellular metabolism.  Every cell in the body is affected by the thyroid gland.

Unfortunately, more and more people are being diagnosed with a thyroid condition, prescribed synthetic drugs, and never actually “get better.”  Many times, people are misdiagnosed, and still prescribed the same toxic drugs to treat symptoms, or even worse, doctors will just remove the thyroid gland all together rather than find and address the actual cause.

Conversely, many people go to the doctor with hypothyroid symptoms and the doctor runs a blood panel, which results in “normal” levels, and the patient is sent on her way thinking that the symptoms are just in her head.  Either way, the patient is being failed by the system, though the former is more common.

We have a similar story to this, which tends to resonate with so many men and women who have been going to numerous medical professionals, only to be told that there’s nothing wrong with them, or it’s just a normal part of aging, or that it’s just in their heads.  I assure you, if you suffer from hypothyroid symptoms, it’s likely not in your head. To read our story and how we healed Hashimoto’s and a number of other autoimmune diseases naturally, drug free, check out our e3 Energy Evolved story.

In an otherwise optimal functioning body, the hypothalamus releases thyroid releasing hormone (TRH) which signals the pituitary to release thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), telling the thyroid gland to release Free T4.  The liver then converts T4 to the active thyroid hormone, Free T3, to be taken up by the cells.  When the cells don’t receive enough Free T3, hypothyroid symptoms appear.

If you are experiencing the symptoms mentioned above, it’s likely that your cells are not receiving sufficient amounts of the thyroid hormone.  However, just because the cells are not receiving the hormone doesn’t necessarily mean the thyroid is not functioning.  There are a number other factors that may be the cause, thus making the thyroid a secondary condition.

Stress is a major player in thyroid health.  Stress, whether physical, mental/emotional or biochemical, will increase cortisol production.  Cortisol not only inhibits TSH production, but also the conversion from T4 to the useable T3. When someone suffers from chronic stress, not only may they not be producing thyroid hormones sufficiently, but the small amount of hormone that is being produced has trouble being converted into this usable form. Thus, cortisol doesn’t just interfere with the hormone production, but also prevents the hormone from entering the cells, again, leading to hypothyroid symptoms.

When under stress, the body wants to conserve energy to prepare for “fight or flight”, so it lowers thyroid production in order to slow the metabolism.  Stress not only affects the thyroid, but it can affect every system within the body.  Stress can suppress the immune system, which can cause an overgrowth of bacteria or pathogens.  Stress also causes imbalances in gut flora, and causes the liver to become overly congested.

Not so surprisingly, more and more athletes, especially fitness and bodybuilding competitors and runners, are being diagnosed with hypothyroidism, due to the high amounts of stress their bodies undergo, combined with diets that don’t support the physical demands they put on themselves.

The liver is an organ that plays a major role in thyroid function.  Aside from filtering toxins from the body, the liver not only aids in the conversion of the thyroid hormone, but also produces a binding agent that attaches to the usable form of the hormone to help regulate the absorption into the cells.  If the liver becomes congested, it can have a huge impact on thyroid hormone regulation.

If the gut is out of balance, whether from pathogenic infestation, bacteria overgrowth, dysbiosis (imbalances in but flora) or inflammation, endotoxins are emitted which can both interfere with TSH production and hormone conversion.  Nutritional deficiencies also have a major impact on the thyroid gland.

In western medicine we have a different specialist for each system, organ or gland, and each specialist seldom speaks to one another.  However, every system in the body does speak to one another.  Therefore, when a doctor runs a thyroid blood panel, but doesn’t take into consideration other factors like the patient’s stress and the rest of the endocrine system, the liver, gut and intestines, he or she isn’t doing his or her job.

Below are some tips for thyroid health:

  • Avoid fluoride toothpaste and antiperspirant deodorant.
  • Avoid GMO’s; buy organic foods.
  • Minimize exposure to electromagnetic frequencies from computers, iPads, cell phones and other wireless devices.
  • Reduce sugar intake.
  • Don’t over exercise.  Exercise is stressful on the body.  Though usually a “good” stress, when your client has endocrine imbalances or a thyroid condition, intense exercise turns into a negative stress, and can further impact the condition..
  • Perform stress reduction techniques, like meditation, prayer, yoga or massage.
  • Not only filter your drinking water, but use a shower filter as well.

Though the suggestions above can help, if you have symptoms of an over or underactive thyroid, the above, in most cases, will not be enough.  Correcting thyroid function will likely require severe dietary and lifestyle changes as well as the use of a number of practitioner grade nutraceuticals to help power up the lagging systems and bring the body back into balance.

Facebook Frames

If you’re like many of our e3 Energy Evolved members who came to us after exhausting all the “fundamental” resources available to them, without getting the appropriate answers, and are seeking a means to the end of feeling like you don’t belong in your own skin, feel free to contact us for a complimentary consultation to get you on track to a healthier you.

Damian D. Dubé, NASM CES; BS, Exercise Physiology and Fitness Management is a Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner, a former NPC Bodybuilding Competitor and co-founder of the e3 Energy Evolved™ System.

Experience Life Magazine

Be a Breakfast Believer

Some of the highest-octane fuel we can ingest is a nutritious, balanced breakfast. “No time,” you say? “I might gain weight,” you fret? “I don’t like breakfast foods,” you claim? Herein I will render you excuseless!

‘Tis true, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and there is a host of reasons to incorporate a nutritious, delicious, and perhaps not-so-traditional meal into your morning. Eaten within 45 min. of waking, breakfast helps set your mood, energy, and metabolic rate for the day and helps the body regulate that important cortisol cycle. Dysregulated or overproduction of cortisol (a hormone made by the adrenal glands) can contribute to belly fat (it’s nicknamed “the belly fat hormone”) and can keep you from a good night’s sleep.

Dessert First?
One in five Americans skips breakfast, and many who do eat consume what amounts to a piece of cake. You wouldn’t eat a scone or muffin for dinner (would you?), so why do these choices seem fit for breakfast? They aren’t and here’s why: Pastries and the like are comprised of simple carbohydrates (i.e. sugar and refined flour) that break down rapidly and make a B-line for the bloodstream, causing blood sugar to spike and then plummet due to a surge in insulin. With this blood sugar crash comes what I call “the pit,” a dip in energy and crazy hunger that make you reach for another donut before lunch. Because the body is constantly in search of homeostasis, it wants the equivalent high to the low you just subjected it to, thus the spike-inducing donut.

Make Your Choices Count
Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, don’t rush to the bloodstream and save you from the blood sugar roller coaster. True whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and low-sugar fruits take longer to digest and dole our their energy-giving over time. (Bananas, cantaloupes, mangoes, papayas, and pineapples are considered simple carbohydrates due to their high sugar content; apples, cherries, grapefruits, oranges, pears, and plums contain less sugar.) Maintaining steady blood sugar levels, not just at breakfast, but also at every meal and snack, is key to warding off insulin resistance syndrome, which can be a precursor to diabetes.

The beauty of incorporating true whole grains (and some fruit) is that you’ll get a good allotment of your daily fiber needs. Fiber helps lower the risk of heart disease, some types of cancer, and diabetes, and also helps maintain blood pressure.

Still, there’s a bit more to the picture. To build a breakfast with real staying power, you need adequate protein and fat. Both help you feel fuller longer, which makes it much easier to stroll on past the box of donuts. Eggs have long been the breakfast protein staple, and for good reason – they’re a near-perfect balance of amino acids. Other nutritious breakfast proteins include nuts and nut butters, grass-fed yogurt and cheese, and hormone- and antibiotic-free breakfast meats.

Back to the fat. Good-for-you fats are an important macronutrient and won’t make you fat, as the body requires dietary fat to burn fat. Organic and grass-fed full fat cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese (yes, full fat, not skim), avocadoes, flax seeds, fish, and nuts are all great breakfast choices. See, this isn’t so difficult, as you can get fat and protein from some of the same sources.

Rev Your Engine
The most common reason that I hear for skipping breakfast, or for resisting incorporating breakfast, is that people are afraid that they’ll gain weight. They’re “fine” getting by on coffee and are “saving the calories for later.” Firstly, I don’t believe in counting calories. Ever.

Secondly, this reasoning couldn’t be further from the truth. After eight or so hours of sleep, your body needs to be refueled and eating is critical (“break the fast”). Otherwise, your body goes into a sort of famine state and metabolism comes to a screeching halt. You go about your day, running on fumes (and caffeine), while your body waits to get its fuel. No fuel, no fat loss.

Recent studies have shown that breakfast eaters are less likely to suffer from heart attacks and strokes. Once you see and feel the difference breakfast can make in your life, you’ll never be a two-meal eater again.

Quick and easy breakfasts:
Preparing a power-packed breakfast need not be tedious and time consuming and once you begin making it a part of your morning routine, I promise you’ll wonder how you ever made it through the morning on a belly full of coffee.

  • Power smoothie, which can be prepared a number of ways and blended to taste. My favorite ingredients: kefir or yogurt (dairy or coconut), nut milk (almond or hazelnut), walnuts, dark leafy greens, berries, flax oil or ground flax seed, chia seeds, avocado, powdered protein (I prefer hemp protein over whey), cacao nibs (raw chocolate), half a banana, dab of honey (only needed if I’m out of bananas).
  • Fruit, nut and cheese plate
  • Egg prepared as desired and whole grain waffle with nut butter and drizzle of real maple syrup
  • Frittata (egg casserole, chock full of in-season vegetables) can be made for Sunday morning brunch and then re-heated for the next several mornings
  • Breakfast pizza – whole grain bread, ricotta or cottage cheese, basil, tomatoes, with drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste
  • Open-faced breakfast sandwich with whole grain bread or English muffin, organic egg, veggie sausage or organic meat, and cheese or avocado
  • Whole grain toast with goat cheese, parsley, chives, and rosemary
  • Whole grain toast with pesto, avocado, leafy greens, sliced tomato, and oregano
  • Whole grain toast with nut butter, apple slices, walnuts and a drizzle of honey
  • Whole grain toast with avocado, goat cheese, and anchovies
  • Breakfast burrito on sprouted or whole grain tortilla with an egg and other healthy fillings of your choice, like onions, beans, peppers, and avocado (very easy to make ahead and freeze)
  • Fish and dark leafy greens
  • Mashed sweet potatoes, topped with roasted Brussels sprouts and pastured sausage
  • Lox (smoked salmon) and organic cream cheese on whole grain English muffin with red onion slices and capers
  • Hot, whole grain cereal with coconut milk, berries, and lots of nuts or swirls of nut butter – quinoa is our favorite, as it’s a grain (it’s actually a seed) that’s high in protein; also consider mixing in pureed pumpkin with cinnamon and nutmeg
  • Open-faced omelet with leftover vegetables and a little cheese
  • Grated potato with a bit of chopped onions and greens and other veggies of your choice
  • Organic, pastured sausages, ham, or bacon with leftover smashed sweet potatoes and greens
  • Last night’s leftovers

NOTE: Many people have a wheat/gluten, and/or dairy allergy or sensitivity. In the presence of any of these sensitivities, I recommend appropriate dairy/grain substitutions.

Jill Grunewald is a Minneapolis-based holistic nutrition and hormone coach and health and wellness writer.

Experience Life Magazine

Skinless Project Vlog: Are You a Phony?

The Skinless Project founder Maaria Mozaffar shares her thoughts on authenticity.

Maaria Mozaffar, Esq. is the founder of The Skinless Projecta company created to help women reach their highest potential personally and professionally.

Experience Life Magazine

Feeling Ashamed of Your Weight?

It wasn’t until high school that my relationship with food got off track. I was a cheerleading and I remember being depressed because I had to be a base rather than a top because I wasn’t light enough to be the one tossed up in the air.

I went to Catholic school and I wore a skirt that was two sizes too small (which was so tight it cut into my skin and left red marks around my waist) because it made me feel better than buying a bigger skirt.

Me and my body, well, we were not exactly besties at the time.

safety

Enough is Enough

I was doing an interview recently where I was asked to share the emotional low point that was the “enough is enough” moment that got me to realize it was time for change. You’d think a few weeks of wearing the too tight skirt would be it. It wasn’t.

Or, there was the time in college when I was on vacation with a group of friends and we were at the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. One of my friends, a trainer who had recently lost a lot of weight (who I thought looked amazing) became the star of Q&A with Sheila, because I had to know how she lost the weight.

After a little while, I think she was getting irritated with my barrage of question, so she flat out asked me how much I weighed. I told her. 165 pounds. Her response?

{gasp!} Sheila!

As if I had just told her that I had robbed a bank or something. Mind you, this was in front of everyone at the table. In that moment all I felt was SHAME. I was so ashamed about my weight. I ended up barely eating any of my dinner and the next day I started my next super restrictive diet.

Sounds like a pretty solid “enough is enough” moment, doesn’t it? But it wasn’t. I wanted relief so badly from the food-prison and body-jail that I had myself locked in, but all I knew was to just keep trying what I knew.

Sunshine, Puppy Dogs, and Bikinis…NOT

I think that wanting to change is truly the first step and then once we have the desire, the right people and resources cross our path in seemingly random ways that lead us to the next step and the next step in our journey.

In a previous blog, I mentioned how working with Leigh Peele was really the first step for me in learning how to eat for nutrition rather than just eating (or not eating) in order to end the day with the least amount of calories possible

Once I reached my goal weight, I thought I had crossed the finish line. I thought everything was going to be sunshine, puppy dogs, and bikinis only to find out that once I reached my goal, I didn’t know how to eat healthy and just be normal with food without thinking about calories, ratios, and dieting all the time. That was the next phase for me. THAT was my “enough is enough” moment.

And soon after was when I learned about Marc David and his work with the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. No joke, when I went to their website it was like the clouds parted and the heavens appeared. EVERYTHING that he teaches resonated so deeply with me and still to this day, he is one of my greatest mentors when it comes to food.

So if you are in that place where you’ve hit that “enough is enough” moment, but you aren’t quite sure what to do… ease upon yourself a bit. Take it from me, bullying yourself just leads to more shame. And shame NEVER leads to empowerment.

You WILL find your way. You WILL figure this out. And the desire to change is the first step.

What was your “enough is enough” moment? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Sheila Viers is an Emotional Eating Expert, Holistic Life Coach and co-founder of Live Well 360.

Experience Life Magazine

Changing The Female Brain to Change The Female Body Experience

Trustyourbody-e1361374836282

 

What amazes me supporting women in their natural healing work to restore better function in their body, and come into a better relationship with their body, is how much as women we allow our minds to not trust our bodies.

When we’re coaching & supporting our E3 Energy Evolved members, sometimes I am so sad to read the emails from some of our members about how much they worry, question or criticize their own healing potential just as a natural way of how they think, when I know from experience how much more their bodies DESIRE to do for them in both healing & fat loss, but we allow our minds to sit in these negative blocked places.

Why as women do we allow our brains to constantly second guess, criticize, berate, talk negatively too, or create thoughts of mistrust in our bodies?

How do you think that is serving your goals of changing your body, because it’s not? It’s limiting your natural health and fat loss results, how you talk to your body with your mind.

Why is it that women as a gender and societal way of being and thinking we naturally knee-jerk into this most likely more than men, and who do you think has the power to reverse that trend for our daughters, and generations to come? (Hint: you’re reading this right now.)

What do you think would be possible if you committed to only speaking kind, caring, loving, limitless potential, trusting, belief-based thoughts to your body daily for even just 30 days?

Whether it’s a day I step onto a natural healing change program with my body, or the day I step onto a natural body transformation path as a competitive athlete, my MIND IS ALL IN to where I’m headed, & it 100% TRUSTS MY BODY.

Women, you want better results from your body? Start by assessing where you allow your mind to go each day about your body. Work towards questioning your body less & believing in your body more. Because your body hears EVERYTHING your mind says.

So please do this… MENTALLY DUMP all the thoughts your brain keeps saying to your body in the share box below…. let’s get real.

What are some of the “negative thoughts” that spin in your mind about your body, that are holding you back?

Dump them below, then choose a POSITIVE thought you commit to putting in its place for the next week, so you can give your body the permission & trust it needs to change & do its best work for you & stop blocking it with your mind.

Heather Dubé is a Natural Metabolic Recovery & Conditioning Specialists and one of the creators of the e3 Energy Evolved™ System | www.e3EnergyEvolved.com.

Experience Life Magazine

Natural Face Paints Without Scary Ingredients

Kids love having their faces painted. Whether it’s just a small star painted on their cheek or a full-blown animal patterned face to decorative princess or fairy or butterfly eyes, transforming their ‘everyday’ look is incredibly satisfying.

But many parents wonder or even worry that face paints can’t be all that great for their kids’ skin. This is a reasonable concern as the vast majority of face paints for kids (and even art materials in general) are made with harmful ingredients. And yes, even the ones that are labeled ‘non-toxic.’

All too often, parabens, artificial dyes and harmful preservatives like the formaldehyde-releasing DMDM Hydantoin are listed in the ingredients of many kids’ products. Conventional arts and crafts face paints do not list the ingredients, leaving parents to rely on a ‘non-toxic’ certification (which still could mean their product is made with petrochemicals and a host of other toxic ingredients).

The reality is, most parents tend to pull out the face painting supplies around Halloween, maybe a birthday party, or for a play at school. Or just for that special rainy day. So, the face paints aren’t seeing daily use like other skin care products but that doesn’t mean they should be filled with harmful chemicals.

We chose Glob Natural Face Paints because they are made without parabens, synthetic dyes, non-nano particles, talc or petrochemicals. And because they’re made with certified organic ingredients. And because they work! Using the bamboo brush (comes along with the kit), it was very easy to control a nice, detailed line…and this is important when drawing around little eyes!

Made in California, Glob paints are crafted from fruits, vegetables and herbs. The vibrant colors come from beets, purple carrots, turmeric, red cabbage, oranges, tomatoes, carrots, marigolds, annatto, gardenia and alfalfa. The materials in the paints are also recyclable and biodegradeable, making them safe to wash in the sink and into our water supply.

Glob paints was started by an artist herself. Having been exposed to all kinds of art products and paints, she developed reactions to the chemicals, but just assumed that was par for the course. Although in recent years, with all of the important information surfacing about the safety of chemicals in our skincare, she wondered why the same rules didn’t apply to art materials. This ultimately gave her the incentive to create a line of safe art supplies for kids.

One thing to note about face paints: there needs to be some kind of preservative to protect from bacterial contamination. Glob face paints have the addition of 1% phenoxyethanol (studies show it to be a safer alternative to parabens).

And a few tips about using Glob face paints:

  • The blue face paint (ultramarine) is not for use on lips.
  • The face paints may stain, just like fruit juice – so careful with fancy clothes!
  • The paints have a shelf life for a couple years so no worries about using up right away.
  • Paints are not expected to be mixed with water – ready to apply right from the paint tray!
  • To remove face paints, we recommend using coconut oil or almond oil.

Click here for a chance to win a set of Glob face paints.

Annie Asebrook is a blogger for Mighty Nest.

 mightynest_logo

Page 1 of 1412345...10...Last »